Stage Door News

Toronto: Toronto Operetta Theatre presents Kálmán’s “The Csárdás Princess” online July 9-23, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Toronto Operetta Theatre presents Imre Kálmán’s greatest hit, The Csárdás Princess in a virtual production streamed online from July 9th to 23rd,  “Music theatre – whether you call it operetta, comic opera, zarzuela, opera bouffe or Broadway Musical - is fun for the whole family” says TOT”s Guillermo Silva-Marin, “and I’m so pleased that we can bring Toronto audiences works of this calibre, featuring 100% Canadian talent straight to your laptop.”

Imre Kálmán was one of the great trio of operetta composers in the Austro-Hungarian tradition that included Franz Lehár and Johann Strauss.  The glamorous cabaret diva of the title will be played by Lauren Margison, heard in Toronto most recently as Mimi in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of La Bohème.  TOT favourite Michael Barrett, heard last season as the dashing hero Barinkay in Strauss’ Zigeunerbaron, appears as Prince EdwinTheir co-stars include Caitlin Wood as Countess Stasi, Ryan Downey as Boni and Gregory Finney as Feri, Rosalind McArthur and Sean Curran appear as Edwin’s oh-so-proper parents Anhilte and Leopold Maria.  Robert Cooper returns to lead the production with Narmina Afandiyeva as pianist and Silva-Marin directs. The Stage Manager will be Myra Malley.  

Social and class struggles are at the core of our story with Sylvia as the cabaret star and Edwin as her beloved Prince. His parents have other plans for the Prince and oppose any relationship with a commoner. Matters come to a surprising conclusion after revelations of past peccadilloes that level all ranks. The Csárdás Princess premiered at the Johann Strauss Theater in Vienna in December of 1915 and was an immediate hit.  Musically Kálmán mines the riches of his native Hungary to great effect and matches Lehár waltz for waltz.  Uniquely for the time, he also weaves the rhythms of American pop music into his creation along with the unequalled passion of Hungary’s greatest contribution to world music…the Csárdás - seduction set to music!

TOT’s virtual production of The Csárdás Princess will build on the success of its first online presentation – The Gondoliers – and will be technologically enhanced thanks to a generous digital equipment grant from the Dalglish Foundation.  The pandemic has caused all arts groups to innovate, and TOT has embraced the challenge with speed and ingenuity. 

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Illustration: Poster for a film of The Csárdás Princess. © 1934 UFA.